Annual Reports

SNIS Annual Report 2016: Continuity and Change

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The year 2016 has been a year of continuity and change at the same time. The SNIS adapts and changes as its network grows despite fewer resources. The SNIS Annual Report 2016 reflects this spirit and offers a refreshed layout.

The federal and cantonal authorities decided to continue their support for the next four years. Many researchers in our community welcome this good news since available research funds in international studies have become increasingly precarious. The continuity has also made possible thanks to the meticulous work of our different internal committees. Jacques Silber, who chaired the SNIS Scientific Committee over several years offers a look behind the scenes and gives some hints for a successful project submission. Valentina Mele (Bocconi University), International Geneva Award winner, testifies in the guest editorial our particularity to bring academics and practitioners together in a very remarkable way.

The novelty that has come in 2016 is mainly on an institutional level: The SNIS opened up to include the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, and the University of St. Gallen in its decision-making body, in addition to the University of Geneva, the Graduate Institute and the World Trade Institute (University of Bern), whose directors and/or rectors are represented in the SNIS Governing Committee. An adaptation to cope with fewer resources has undergone during the past year and the SNIS is functioning with team of three people. We will have to be innovative to maintain and even expand our activities in the future. As for this year: continuity and change will go hand in hand.

SNIS Annual Report 2015: Helping the Transition

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The SNIS annual report entitled “Helping the Transition” makes reference to the Sustainable Development Goals launched by the UN in 2015. There are goals and targets, but the roadmaps have yet to be created. This is where the SNIS comes in: supporting research that can be translated into concrete actions.

The upward trend in partnerships in the submitted project proposals reflects the necessity to create multiple, truly interdisciplinary research collaborations when tackling complex, contemporary issues such as sustainable development. As Francesco Pisano, Director of the UN Library in Geneva and President of the International Geneva Committee, points out: “This is the best time for the SNIS – the SDGs make it more important and relevant than ever.”

The networking and dissemination activities have always been a very important part of the SNIS mission. Over sixty working papers with results of funded projects are proposed in open access on the SNIS website. Filmed documentaries complement the more classical academic research dissemination by telling powerful stories that help spur policy action.





SNIS Annual Report 2014: Reaching a wide audience

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The annual report’s title reflects the accomplishment of the SNIS ambition to communicate complex research results to a wide audience. The year 2014 was marked by the release of the first film documentary “Rubber in a Rice Bowl”, that proved to be a particularly efficient communication tool. Since its premiere in March 2014, the movie has encountered a remarkable success. A major highlight will be the screening, under the patronage of the City of Geneva, at the Swiss Pavilion at the Universal Exhibition in Milan. As an actor of International Geneva, the SNIS thus contributes to the effort of bringing cutting edge academic knowledge to the many practitioners in International Organisations. In its eighth year of existence, the SNIS is looking back on the work achieved and the aggregate numbers since 2008 demonstrate that the SNIS has definitely found its place in the Swiss research funding landscape. While looking into the future, the SNIS will also have to demonstrate its validity as part of the general effort to support International and Intellectual Geneva.

The SNIS is confident that its stakeholders agree with Bernard Kuiten (Head of External Relations, World Trade Organization) who says in the guest editorial “the marriage is more than worth the effort”. 




SNIS Annual Report 2013: Boutique Funding for International Studies

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The 2013 annual report’s title reflects the unique position that the Swiss Network for International Studies (SNIS) is holding in the European funding landscape. As revealed by a mandated study, the SNIS does not only fulfil a gap in the support of academic research but upholds also a certain perspective on what international studies are. The SNIS is unique also in terms of close collaboration with research teams, as shows the production of a full documentary film as described by Dr Christophe Gironde in the guest editorial.  This particular place in the funding scheme might be one explanation as to why the SNIS continues to receive an exceptionally high number of applications each year. The SNIS has definitely confirmed its role and continues to offer various funding opportunities that link academia in Switzerland to International Organisation. The incubator workshop grants set up in 2013 will constitute a further stepping-stone to research collaborations. The manifold events held at various academic institutions throughout the year further contributed to enhancing the IO-academia exchange.

SNIS Annual Report 2012: Serving International Geneva and Switzerland

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The Annual Report 2012 features the central theme "Serving International Geneva and Switzerland". As stated by the Delegate for International Geneva in his guest editorial, the SNIS can be considered as a small but important actor in the canton's overall strategy to provide many international organisations with high-calibre academic expertise. The SNIS, with its mission confirmed and having successfully passed an operation audit, moved ahead by institutionally strengthening the ties with international organisations. Thus, the Governing Committee decided to enlarge its ranks by including the President of the International Geneva Committee as a member of the governing board.

The Annual Report reflects the intensive year 2012 in terms of events, publications and funding activities. The SNIS successfully carried out its fifth call for the projects, dedicating almost 80% of its overall budget to the funding of research projects. Various statistics and graphs give a further insight into the geographical breakdown and partnerships of submitted projects during the first round.

SNIS Annual Report 2011: From Results to Impact

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The Annual Report 2011 brings forward the central theme "From Results to Impact". The focus on impact is one of the key characteristics of the SNIS mission as it not only encourages researchers to make their findings available in working papers and regular publications, but also supports the teams in exploring additional means to communicate their results.

The year 2011 demonstrated that this ambition can been translated into reality. As many projects came to a close, the SNIS and its scientific committee were very pleased to see that the teams managed to publish their findings in high quality, peer reviewed journals. At the same time, many research teams also held special closing events bringing together the key stakeholders of the project with a wider interested audience from International Organisations and civil society. The SNIS Secretariat supported these communication efforts by filming the events and producing short documentaries showcasing the key findings and methodological insights of the projects.


The impact oriented project outputs and the manifold SNIS events that took place over the year, helped sharpen the profile of the international studies community in Switzerland and built strong bridges to International Organisations and civil society.


SNIS Annual Report 2010: Harnessing the Network for Growth

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The annual report reflects the intensive year during which the SNIS has succeeded in maintaining the scope of its funding and networking activities, while it engaged an internal restructuring process geared at further improving its overall efficiency. This objective was achieved resulting in increased allocations for scientific projects. “Do more with less” was the intrinsic motto.


The past year was also marked by important investments for the growing network. The SNIS put considerable resources into IT development providing increased access to its resources, particularly for practitioners of international and non-governmental organisations. The empirical study carried out by the SNIS to refine its understanding of the collaboration patterns between academia and international organisations is another step in improving our networking services.




SNIS Annual Report 2009: Reaching Out

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In 2009, the SNIS has continued on its path to become a truly Swiss Network, mobilizing actors in International Studies across the country. This is nowhere more apparent than in the applications for funding that were received throughout the year. The large geographical scope was particularly striking in the annual call for projects. More than half of the 100 submitted projects emanated from the German speaking cantons and universities. This demonstrates that the SNIS has clearly increased its visibility beyond Geneva and that it now encompasses the entire specialized academic community in Switzerland.

SNIS Annual Report 2008

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In 2008 the Geneva International Academic network (GIAN) transitioned to the Swiss Network for International Studies (SNIS). The SNIS mission is to act as a research network and provide funding opportunities for scientists in Switzerland working in the domain of International Studies. A Director was appointed in early 2008, while the former Executive Secretary finalised GIAN activities prior to leaving office in December 2008.

This intense transition period brought about many changes and required renewed organisational structures with its associated organs and procedures, as well as the development of a new corporate identity. Nonetheless, important activities were assured throughout this process including the Call for Proposals as well as the follow-through of former GIAN projects. The new organisation profited greatly from existing resources and knowledge, as well as the concerted eff ort of all staff members.